by Elise, Grade 7
Learning about Ancient Greece doesn’t have to be boring. Before Spring Break, the Grade 7 students were given the creative assignment to create a poster board including what they learned about Ancient Greece. We created t-charts (two-column comparisons) and essays in socials class; the best part was being able to choose what topic we would research and write about.
In English class, we wrote a narrative piece. We created a demi-god and great adventures they would face. All of this of course had a twist: we had to incorporate the topics we wrote about in our socials t-charts and essays. The project was self-paced, which gave us more of the feeling of independence which becomes more important as Middle School students get older.
Here’s what other students had to say about the project:
- “I feel the project touched on all different types of skill sets, like writing factual essays or decorating a poster board. Because the project was self-led, it made you pay more attention and learn new things at the pace you need.” -Jillian
- “I liked the narrative piece the most because it was interesting and open-ended.” -Joshua
The experience included being able to write about what you want, create pieces the way you want and to show off your creativity in every way possible. The project was an imaginative way that the teachers came up with for the students to learn new material, while still following the grade curriculum, and show it all off in an artistic way. I felt it helped me and others learn better as it was an interactive, exciting activity.
Student Narratives: Excerpts
“I never fit in; I’ve known that since I was just a little girl. All the other kids could sit quietly in class and listen to every word that slithered out of our teacher’s mouth. I always got punished in school, because apparently I didn’t behave. When I went home and told my father about the days that I would receive punishment, he would just tell me he was sorry and it wasn’t my fault. My father never looked sadder than when I would tell him I had been punished, so I never pushed anything on him, but it made me very angry to hear this. I would spend my days in school drawing pictures of the life I wished I could live. Little drawings of what I thought the Olympics looked like. In my mind, the Olympics were glorious events and games, sports and activities. I always wished I could go to the Olympics. Although what I truly wanted was to take part in the games. No punishment that I received at school could be worse than not being allowed in the Olympics.” – Chloe
“I saw them coming, a horde of men so vast they were as wide as the eye could see. They came and fought but it was hardly fighting, for every Spartan we killed two more would take his place. They trampled our army like we were only children and slaughtered all men in sight, but me. They took me to their filthy palace and, before I knew it, I was sitting in the dank dim dungeon underneath the dining hall where the Spartans were feasting to victory. While I myself was slowly starving, smelling the tantalizing food and wine.” – Joshua
“That’s my mother’s story of why my father is gone. She tells me the same thing every time I ask. It’s far-fetched. Come on, really? The goddess of wisdom, being outsmarted by a god no more than a guard dog for the dead. He has no common sense, he has no brain and he’s virtually dead himself. No way she would be outsmarted by him. When I was little, she convinced me to eat my cucumbers, the one vegetable I won’t eat under any circumstance. That woman works mind tricks. Now she expects me to believe that my stupid great uncle out smarted her. She would have found a way to get my father back, but she didn’t. I don’t believe her at all. The one thing that I am sure of is that she loved my father. I only want to know why he left. I wasn’t even born, or at least that’s what mom told me. Also, he’s a world-famous fighter, he would have fought Hades off. He wouldn’t just let himself be taken away. The goddess of wisdom should at least be able to make up a believable story line. My dad’s still out there, but he wasn’t captured. He wants me, I know it.” – Elise